Salmon, cheese and the culinary arts put the Nordic kitchen on the map, and aquavit has made an entrance into some of the world’s best bars in cities such as Paris, Berlin and New York. Now is the time to strengthen our international presence, and the re-launch of Opland aquavit marks the start of these efforts.
“The ambition of the re-launch is to establish Opland aquavit abroad as a premium brand and compete directly with exclusive single malts or cognac,” says Arcus CEO, Kenneth Hamnes.
A homegrown favourite for international markets.
Arcus is the world’s largest producer of aquavit and owns many of the traditional brands. Opland aquavit has long been the most popular of the aquavits among Norwegians, topping the sales charts at Vinmonopolet year after year. Kenneth Hamnes is confident that Opland’s round, complex flavour will also be appreciated abroad.
– In addition to its renaissance in Norway, we are also seeing a growing interest in aquavit abroad. The German and the US markets in particular have discovered this Nordic drink, he explains.
The 24-month maturing process in sherry casks gives Opland a round flavour and complexity that is different from other aquavits. The man who has put his signature on the bottle, master blender Ivan Abrahamsen, thinks Opland is an aquavit that should be enjoyed year-round.
– The long maturing process gives Opland a complex composition. Many people connect aquavit and Opland with Christmas, but Opland aquavit is the perfect alternative to cognac or whiskey any time of the year. And, of course, it’s delicious with traditional dishes, particularly lutefisk, he adds.
To prepare Opland for the international market, London-based Stranger & Stranger, a design agency with an excellent reputation, was given the assignment to redesign the traditional bottle. The agency had previously worked with well-known spirit brands such as Martini and Jack Daniels, but this was the first time it had taken on an aquavit bottle.
– We’ve really enjoyed partnering with the Opland team at Arcus to repackage this definitive aquavit. The team were very open minded from the start, giving us total creative freedom to do what we do best, design! The refreshed packs are designed to give a greater competitive edge, creating a strong recognisable stand-out on shelf and back bar while increasing the quality premium craft cues of the brand, says Ivan Bell, Managing Director at Stranger & Stranger.
The entire Opland aquavit portfolio, including Edel and Single Cask, was given a new look. The bottles now have a more modern appearance that will appeal to Norwegians as well as old and new aquavit enthusiasts all over the world, but many of the brands’ characteristic features have been kept as well. Everyone who loves Opland aquavit will still recognise their beloved brand.